The Sound of Music

Last year Blake and I got sucked into the CBC's version of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria, mainly on account of Barrowman Barrowman Barrowman, but also because I love singing contests. After it was over, I decided it would be cool to watch the movie of The Sound of Music with the girls. As it turned out, it was both too long and too scary. Delphine was scared by the stern Captain, and also by the Nazis. Nevertheless, I decided to take Delphine with me to see the Toronto stage production. She's never seen a musical (or a play, for that matter) and it seemed like the right time. Plus I wanted to go.

Unsurprisingly, Dephine didn't want to go, but Blake and I convinced her that the show would be less intense on stage, and that either way it would be a fun day out with me. (Cordelia stayed home with Blake.)

So this Wednesday I picked Delphine up at school at lunchtime, and we took the subway downtown together to see the matinee. We stopped for barbeque pork buns and egg tarts at Urban Bakery and then went to the theatre where we found our seats (and a deluxe booster for Delphine), surrounded by middle schoolers on field trips. (They behaved beautifully, apart from some untoward hooting during the first kiss.)

The show was wonderfully staged, with gorgeous sets and evocative lighting. The singing was great, the big numbers were satisfyingly big—my favourite was "Do Re Mi": both educational and breathtakingly energetic. It wasn't too scary for Delphine—the Captain was stern for much less time, and even the Nazis seemed less threatening. Little Nazis far away on a stage are less intimidating than big closeup Nazis in your living room.

One genuinely creepy moment for me was when they dressed the entire Princess of Wales theatre with Nazi flags for the Austrian Music Festival scene. They hung swastikas above all the boxes, and a giant Reichsadler flag billowed down from the ceiling. It was chilling, unexpected and very effective. (I wonder if they did the same thing in the English production.)

My only complaint about the show was the weird marble-mouthed mid-Atlantic accent in which Elicia Mackenzie delivered Maria's dialogue. I couldn't place it at the time but in retrospect it reminded me of an incomprehensible hybrid of Agent Smith from The Matrix and Mythbusters' Jamie Hyneman. Between the weird accent and the snappy delivery, I missed a couple of lines of dialogue. The dude playing The Captain delivered his lines in much the same way, so I guess it was a directorial decision.

All in all, a successful outing. Delphine asked to go to another show with me. I said we would go again next year.

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